What Comes After Ohio’s Issue 1?
Fresh off a lopsided victory in the 2023 election, the abortion industry has revealed its plans to pave the way for future electoral victories — which include taxpayer-subsidized abortion, expanding transgender surgeries, stigmatizing criticism, and shifting the blame for all post-abortion regret to the pro-life movement.
“Together, we successfully enshrined the right to reproductive freedom into the Ohio constitution,” Lauren Blauvelt, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, officially announced after Issue 1’s triumph to a cheering, mostly white and middle class crowd on Tuesday night. But left-wing activism never sleeps.
“This is just the beginning. Help us expand access to the care Ohioans deserve,” said a social media announcement posted shortly after the vote by the state’s Planned Parenthood affiliate. Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio (PPGOH) has boasted of increasing its transgender procedures by 544% in one year.
“Now more than ever, our work continues,” declared Erica Wilson-Domer, CEO of PPGOH, in a celebratory online video with Blauvelt released after the vote. “We’re excited to advance the care we provide so that every Ohioan can access the equitable and affordable care they deserve.” This includes supporting “reproductive freedom” — words Issue 1’s sponsors have already indicated go far beyond Roe’s status quo, or even the issue of abortion.
“We are proud to be on the just side of history,” said Blauvelt in the same video. “And I know you’ll stay with us as we dismantle abortion stigma and ensure that access is a reality for all.” Pro-abortion activists had loaded the term “abortion stigma” with an enormous, unspoken agenda. It begins with concrete steps such as taxpayer-funded abortions and transgender procedures, and repealing all pro-life laws, and ends with silencing all opposition.
Politically, the abortion industry has dramatically expanded its rhetoric from allowing abortion as a “choice” alongside pregnancy to stigmatizing any “barrier” that prevents “access” to abortion. Instead of saying, “I am pro-choice,” Planned Parenthood now coaches its activists to say, “I support a person’s right to access safe, legal abortion.”
Planned Parenthood’s recent guide on “Busting Stigma” tells activists, “Emphasize that no matter where we live, we must do more to ensure equitable access to abortion for communities that face unnecessary barriers to health care, by funding access to abortion and supporting policies that protect reproductive health.” (Emphasis added.) The guide asserts that “systemic discrimination and racism” tries to force “people with low incomes” — as well as “communities of color, LGBTQ+ people, and immigrants” — to keep their babies alive. Their solution involves forcing you to pay for their abortions.
Planned Parenthood accuses the Hyde Amendment — which protects taxpayers from funding abortion — of “penalizing people seeking abortion, and forcing them to pay out-of-pocket in order to access” abortion. The line is not new. In a video Planned Parenthood posted on YouTube in 2015 titled “What is abortion stigma?” the nation’s largest abortion business says, “Some states even withhold coverage for abortion care for those who have Medicaid or private insurance, so [a mother] may have to work extra hours, borrow money, or sell her belongings to afford travel, housing, and the abortion itself.”
Other Issue 1 sponsors spelled this out. One of the members of Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, the Ohio Women’s Alliance, supports “[i]ntroducing a single-payer healthcare system” that will furnish “[a]ccess” to both “safe and legal abortion.” Another Issue 1 sponsor, Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity (URGE), also urges that “financial barriers to” what it euphemistically calls “pregnancy-related care should be a thing of the past.”
Yet these priorities happen to coincide with the financial agenda of Planned Parenthood. “While we are pleased to have been reinstated in Title X in the spring of 2022, we now still face the financial burdens brought by the fall of Roe,” Planned Parenthood’s Ohio affiliate admits in its most recent annual report. Despite the fact that its revenue has nearly doubled since 2019 ($24.1 million in 2019 compared to $44.4 million in 2022). Contributions surged by $19 million — and Planned Parenthood also pocketed $7.9 million in emergency COVID funding from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and CARES Act. But Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, and patient payments all fell significantly after Dobbs.
A majority of Americans oppose compulsory taxpayer funding of abortion.
Promoting Transgender Surgeries
Curiously, Planned Parenthood links transgender surgeries and other procedures — one of its fastest-growing sources of profit — with fighting “abortion stigma.” A page on Planned Parenthood’s website titled “End Stigma” features the story of “Jameson,” a post-abortive woman who now identifies as a bald man.
“The right to access abortion and the right to access gender-affirming health care — they are built on the same foundation,” she writes.
Issue 1’s sponsors agree, privately. The ACLU of Ohio, which helped write Issue 1, has stated “abortion and gender-affirming care” have an “intertwined future.” Ohio Women’s Alliance’s socialized medicine program would also require taxpayers to fund “[h]ormone therapy and gender [conversion] surgeries for LGBTQIA+ folks.” URGE has vowed to push lawmakers to “end restrictions on and begin robust investment in comprehensive LGBTQIA+ inclusive … services, regardless of age, income, zip code, or immigration status.” The group’s political manifesto explicitly links reproductive “decisions” to taxpayer-funded transgender procedures for minors and illegal immigrants.
A growing majority of Americans say “changing one’s gender” is “not moral,” a Gallup poll found in June.
Abortions in Every Ohio City
Even having to drive an undefined number of miles may constitute “abortion stigma,” according to Planned Parenthood. “A woman may also experience abortion stigma when trying to get an abortion. She may have to travel long distances, because there isn’t an abortion provider near where she lives,” says its 2015 video. Again, others in the Issue 1 coalition have said the same thing. Ohio Women’s Alliance Deputy Director Jordyn Close — who describes herself as “a sex and pleasure advocate” who is “working on destigmatizing and uplifting sex work,” (legalizing prostitution) — testified before an Ohio Senate committee that “Ohioans should not have to travel out of their state, or even out of their city, just to get a five-minute medical procedure.”
Rather than engage in the financially prohibitive step of building Planned Parenthood offices in every city, the coalition has emphasized “access” to the abortion pill combo (mifepristone and misoprostol). Yet 63% of Americans oppose sending abortion-inducing pills through the mail.
All Opposition to Abortion, at any Time, for any Reason, Is ‘Abortion Stigma’: Planned Parenthood
In 2016, Planned Parenthood Action defined abortion stigma as “the shared cultural understanding that abortion is morally wrong and/or socially unacceptable.” According to the abortion industry, any reservation a woman has about aborting her unborn child, is not from natural maternal affection for her child but from abortion stigma. “Stigma creates discomfort around abortion,” a more recent Planned Parenthood website on the topic explains. “It’s very common, including among supporters of abortion, to feel uncomfortable or uncertain about when, why, and at what point in pregnancy it is ok [sic] to have an abortion. That discomfort is internalized abortion stigma.”
After denying all responsibility for the harms created by its product, the abortion industry begins to spread the blame elsewhere.
Any and all laws against abortion create stigma, claims Planned Parenthood. “Many states have additional laws reinforcing the idea that abortion is morally wrong and socially unacceptable,” states its 2015 video. The video literally illustrates “abortion stigma” by drawing the words, “Abortion is bad.”
“Anti-abortion messages contribute to abortion stigma,” the group asserted more recently. “Anti-abortion groups make up lies about abortion providers in an attempt to paint abortion as dangerous and providers as greedy and corrupt. Neither of those things are true in any way,” says Planned Parenthood, which killed 374,155 unborn children last year for money, often by dismemberment, and for years harvested and sold their body parts. The abortion industry also has a long history of covering up sexual abuse.
The group particularly dislikes the term “abortion industry,” which implies a profit motive. “There is no ‘abortion industry,’” argued the group, which reported $204.7 million in profits and total assets of $2.7 billion in 2022 — including $670.4 million in compulsory, U.S. taxpayer-funding.
Another allegedly stigma-inducing pro-life claim is that women regret abortion. “Abortion is not inherently traumatic, and researchers have found that it does not cause any negative mental health consequences — actually, having an abortion is associated with better mental and physical health,” In reality, 55% of women who describe themselves as “pro-choice” struggle emotionally after an abortion, and one-third of women (34%) who had a chemical abortion “reported an adverse change in themselves, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and thoughts of suicide.” A 2011 meta-analysis found “a moderate to highly increased risk of mental health problems after abortion.” And a Canadian study found women who have had an abortion have a 142% higher risk of becoming addicted to alcohol, and 280% greater likelihood of drug abuse attributable to abortion after controlling for other factors.
Abortion activists should not say they “don’t approve of ‘abortion as birth control,’” because that typically means “they don’t approve of someone having more than one abortion,” says Planned Parenthood. “It’s absolutely fine to have an abortion, so it’s absolutely fine to have more than one abortion.”
Late-term abortion “does not exist,” Planned Parenthood insists. “There’s no medical designation of when ‘later’ in pregnancy, either.” According to the CDC’s latest abortion surveillance. in 2020, “the highest percentage of abortions were performed by early medical abortion [the abortion pill] at [less than] 9 weeks’ gestation (51.0%),” and “80.9% of abortions were performed at [less than] 9 weeks’ gestation.” Indeed, “nearly all (93.1%) were performed at [less than] 13 weeks’ gestation.” By definition, anything later than the average would be “later.”
Planned Parenthood also states that “adoption shouldn’t be used as a naturally ‘better alternative’ to abortion: encouraging someone to make an adoption plan when they prefer to have an abortion implies that having an abortion is wrong or worse than staying pregnant.”
Planned Parenthood Defines Traditional Christianity’s Pro-Life Message as ‘Abortion Stigma’
“When a woman decides to have an abortion, she’ll likely experience abortion stigma even before she arrives at the abortion business,” alleges the 2015 video. “Growing up, she may have heard negative opinions about abortion in her community, at her place of worship.”
Ultimately, Planned Parenthood states that rejecting “abortion stigma” means championing the abortion industry and its products.
“I want to normalize abortion,” said a post-abortive woman in a Planned Parenthood video posted in April titled “Abortion Stigma Is Powerful. But So Are You.” Another woman asks, “Who’s gonna tell me my personal experience is wrong or invalid?”
“All barriers to abortion are racist,” said OWA’s Jordyn Close.
“It’s 100% fine to support abortion — be proud to be pro-abortion,” declares Planned Parenthood.
Yet Christianity has taught for 2,000 years that abortion is a grave sin — and erases the stigma of all sin by noting that forgiveness is available through accepting Jesus Christ.
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.